WSOP What To Watch For: Kelly, Kuether Play For $1M; Stacked Final Table in Event #7
One of the most exciting events on the 2013 World Series of Poker Schedule will come to a close on Tuesday. A champion will be crowned in Event #6: $1,500 "Millionaire Maker" No-Limit Hold'em, and with it comes a $1.1 million payday. Dan Kelly, Joe Kuether and Chris Hunichen headline the 10-handed "unofficial" final table, but they'll be chasing chip leader Benny Chen when play resumes at 1 p.m.
For the first time this summer, three bracelets will be awarded on the same day. Event #7: $1,000 No-Limit Hold'em and Event #8: $2,500 Eight-Game Mix are also in the home stretch, and several big-name players will be playing for bracelets in the Amazon Room. Those events are the focus of today's WSOP What to Watch For.
Dan Kelly reached his second "unofficial" final table of the summer on Monday night, becoming the first player to do so at this year's Summer Classic. Kelly certainly runs and plays well in big events — he won the $25,000 Six-Max event in 2010 for $1.3 million, and he can add another $1.1 million to his career earnings with a victory in the Millionaire Maker.
What would he do if he won the $1 million? Kelly said the following to PokerNews on Monday: “I would spend it toward playing in more tournaments not only during this summer series but afterward, too. Maybe I’ll travel to more tournaments outside the United States and get involved with the European Poker Tour or play more in the Asian Poker Tour.”
Kelly and nine others outlasted the largest single-day starting field in WSOP history to reach the final day of this event. He'll be joined by no-limit hold'em monsters Joe Kuether and Chris "Big Huni" Hunichen, as well as chip leader Benny Chen, all of whom had the chip lead at some point on the penultimate day of action.
Keuther has been one of the best tournament closers in the world over the past year, winning nine tournaments during his travels to events across the globe. He's still chasing his first major championship, and the Millionaire Maker would certainly qualify.
Like Kuether, Hunichen is a true grinder. There aren't many players in the world who have played more online tournaments than Hunichen, who boasts more than $5 million in cashes. He and Kelly are two of the biggest online tournaments winners all-time, and there's certainly plenty of history between them.
Follow the PokerNews Live Reporting page for up-to-the-minute coverage of the Millionaire Maker Finale!
Take a look at the hard-hitting lineup for the "unofficial" final table of Event #7: Amit Makhija, Eric Baldwin, Brent Hanks, Matt Waxman and Jason Koon. It looks like a group you'd see at a $5,000 no-limit hold'em event, but all five pros managed to weave through a field of 1,837 to reach the final of Event #7: $1,000 No-Limit Hold'em.
"That final table is gonna be legit!" said a member of the PokerNews Live Reporting Team after learning of the lineup. Unfortunately, the event will most likely take second stage to the Millionaire Maker on Tuesday, but we're expecting a loud rail nonetheless.
Makhija enters the day as the chip leader after destroying his table with two tables remaining. When the redraw occurred with 18 players remaining, Makhija had 185,000 in chips. Two hours later he was sitting on 1.1 million and in excellent position to win his first WSOP bracelet.
Waxman and Koon will also be playing for their first piece of WSOP hardware, while Hanks and Baldwin are each seeking their second. It isn't often you see this much firepower at one final table — much less at a $1K — so be sure to follow all of the updates right here at PokerNews.com starting at 1 p.m.
Another loaded final table will kick off at 2 p.m. when Marco Johnson, Greg Mueller, Chris Tryba, Robert Mizrachi and others go to battle for a bracelet in the $2,500 Eight-Game Mix event.
All of the aforementioned pros boast at least one bracelet except for Johnson, who enters the final day with the chip lead. Known as "CrazyMarco" in the virtual realm, Johnson is one of the most successful tournament players in online poker history and is hoping to claim his first major live title on Tuesday. He's come painfully close several times. Last year, he finished runner-up in the $2,500 Limit Hold'em Six Handed event to Ronnie Bardah; in 2008 he took second in the $2,000 No-Limit Hold'em event to Alexandre Gomes.
Reaching the final day is extra special for Greg Mueller, who took runner-up in the same event last year to his good friend David "ODB" Baker. Mueller will get a shot at redemption on Tuesday and attempt to win his third WSOP bracelet — he won two in 2009.
Mueller and Tryba are two of the more outgoing and talkative players on the poker circuit, which means railbirds will have plenty to look forward to on Tuesday. Be sure to catch all the action at the PokerNews Live Reporting page.
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